Aces back under .500 with 8-3 loss
VIENNA, VA – by Lukas Favale – Whenever Colin Milon takes the mound for the Alexandria Aces, it seems like the offense and defense both disappear for him. That was the case once again Friday night as the Aces fell to the Vienna River Dogs 8-3. Milon struggled putting hitters away at times, but the defense behind him was no where to be found, and the offense again didn’t provide him with many runs.
The trouble started in the 1st inning for the Aces. Milon issued a one-out walk to Bobby Rice after jumping out to an 0-2 count. Rice fouled off several pitches and worked the count full before drawing the walk. Trent Higginbothem followed that with a two-strike single. Brett Williams then hit a ground ball to first, but Chris Sweeney couldn’t field it cleanly, and the Aces first of five errors loaded the bases. Casey Turner hit a sacrifice fly to knock in the games first run, an unearned run against Milon.
More sloppy play in the 3rd led to another River Dogs run. A one-out Higginbothem double followed by a single set up first and third with only one-out. Milon then got Turner to hit a double-play ground ball to second, but the return throw to first by Keith Picconi sailed past Chris Sweeney and out of play, scoring Higginbothem for a 2-0 lead.
In the 5th, the River Dogs were able to build on their 2-0 lead. Johnny Bladel led off the inning with a long fly ball to the warning track in right field, but Anthony Papio misplayed it and the ball landed next to him as Bladel raced to third with a triple. Bobby Rice then hit a fly ball into the left field corner which hooked toward the foul pole. Although it look foul, 3rd base umpire Jim Clayton ruled it a home run. After Corey Haines came out an argued, the umpires got together and after a lengthy discussion, the call stood as a home run, and a 4-0 Vienna lead.
The River Dogs would get a few more hits, and a sacrifice fly to increase the lead to 5-0 after 5 innings. In the 6th innings, the Aces would finally get on the scoreboard, helped by sloppy defense from the River Dogs.
Adam Forrer led off with a pop-up to shallow left, which was dropped by Shaun Wood for an error. A Papio single and Alex Buccilli walk loaded the bases with no outs. Chris Sweeney cashed in with a long sacrifice fly to the deepest part of center field. After a Kevin Francke fly out, Craig Sweeney struck out swinging, but the catcher Jason Allinder dropped the ball and as it got away from him Sweeney reached first and Papio scored to make it 5-2. Jacob Stockton then looped an RBI single to cap the 3-run inning.
The River Dogs quickly got a run back in the bottom of the 6th off of reliever Brian Leon. Johnny Bladel singled, stole second, then scored on Trent Higginbothem’s RBI single to push the lead back to 6-3. The final scoring came in the 8th, as the River Dogs would get two runs off of Henry Brooke. That inning started with an Adam Forrer error.
The Aces managed just one baserunner over the last three innings against Justin Albright, who recorded the save. With the loss the Aces drop back below .500 to 12-13 on the season. They return to action Saturday afternoon against the Herndon Braves. First pitch is set for 1:30 PM and coverage can be heard on Aces Radio, found here.
Notes: W – Joseph Vanderplas (5-0); L – Colin Milon (0-4); S – Justin Albright (1); Box Score